McKenzie Pass, geology

August 17, 2005

This was the second year for this geological trip, and the summer heat wave dropped just enough to make it near ideal weather. Seven of us started from Eugene, and an eighth, who had signed up by email, met us on the McKenzie Highway. As before, we started the geological tour at the junction of Highways 126 and 242 with an introduction to the geological history of the area. We then drove up the McKenzie Pass road, stopping several times to view, examine, and discuss the volcanic features and evidence of glacial activity. The first stop was for a view of the canyon walls of Lost Creek and a discussion of the glacier that had filled the valley. This was followed by a hike to Proxy Falls, over lava flows from Collier Cone. After lunch we walked over a small part of the lava flow from South Belknap Crater, examined glacial grooves cut into older volcanic rock by Craig Lake, walked across an “island” of the older volcanic rock nearly engulfed by young lava from Little Belknap Crater, hiked a short way on the Little Belknap lava and examined the contact between the younger flow from Little Belknap Crater and the older flow from Yapoah Crater, had a clear but windy view of the peaks from atop Dee Wright Observatory, and, finally walked the loop trail on the Yapoah lava flow. From McKenzie Pass we drove straight back to Eugene. Participants were Helen Rockett, Margot Fetz, Tom Adamcyk, Alice Nyitray, Marriner Orum, Courtney Abbott, Art Souther, and Peter Rodda (leader).

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